Dan Vs.

Common Sense Media says

Comedy's angry, vengeful messages make it iffy for kids.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show makes light of Dan’s obsessive quest for revenge against those responsible for small offenses like scratching his car, and some of the stories have violent ends that result in the implied deaths of those responsible, as well as innocent bystanders. Violence and destruction are seen as a reasonable means to an end for minor offenses. Potty humor includes references to peeing.

Positive role models

Dan is hotheaded, vengeful, and viciously unkind to those around him, and he bullies everyone he meets, including his mild-mannered best friend. Despite bearing the brunt of Dan’s rants, Chris continues to lend a hand in his friend’s illogical plans and often gets hurt (either physically or emotionally, intentionally or accidentally) in the course of action. Chris’ wife, Elise, is level-headed and sees how Dan takes advantage of her husband, but even she’s usually willing to go along with his plan.

Violence

Fistfights, car accidents, mock strangulation, and weaponry (guns, swords, etc.) are common, and sometimes people are shown injured. It's often implied that people are killed as a result of Dan’s rampages, but there’s no blood or gore.

Sex

Female characters are shown in tight, revealing clothing and playing up their sex appeal for attention or to get something they want.

Language

No cursing, but there’s a constant stream of other marginal language from Dan, including "jerk," "stupid," "heck," and "shut up." He’s also prone to calling people names and making verbal threats.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this cartoon isn't intended for kids or tweens, and its unsavory messages about bullying and violence are good reason to keep teens away as well. The show’s plot glorifies a bitter character’s quest for revenge against the people he thinks have wronged him, and his thirst for "justice" often prompts a violence including guns, fistfights, and the like. Death is implied rather than shown, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing when the victims include innocent bystanders of Dan’s unreasonable rants. Language is limited to marginal cursing like “heck” and name-calling like “stupid” and “jerk,” but the sheer abundance of it is iffy enough to give parents yet another cause for concern.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Not-so-loveable loser Dan (voiced by Curtis Armstrong) has a bone to pick with, well, everyone. Petty grievances like a broken window or a scratch on his car send him over the edge, and he’s got big plans for getting back at those responsible for his inconvenience. When the inevitable happens, he calls on his best friend, Chris (Dave Foley), who’s easily persuaded to chauffeur him to his date with revenge. Often the duo are accompanied by Chris’s wife, Elise (Paget Brewster), who tries to be a voice of reason -- until she’s bitten by the revenge bug as well.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Let’s get this straight: This is not a cartoon for kids or tweens, and teens mature enough to not be influenced by its horrendous messages probably won’t be interested in it to begin with. Were Dan a real person, there would be ample reason to question his sanity, since his bitter, antisocial behavior borders on clinical paranoia and causes him to justify violence as a means for dealing with it.

The fact that Dan resorts to punching, strangling, and verbal threats to deal with people who bother him -- all of which is played for humor throughout the show -- should be enough reason for parents to nix it as an option for impressionable teens. Dan’s relationship with his best friend is perhaps the most disturbing part of all, since he subjects Chris to harsh physical, verbal, and emotional bullying. While there’s no outright cursing or sex, innuendo, verbal threats, and name-calling reach a fevered pitch, giving you plenty of reasons to keep your kids away.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bullying. What are some forms bullying can take? How does verbal bullying differ from physical bullying? Is one any less harmful than the other? Have you ever witnessed a bully in action? What did you do?

  • What messages does this show send about responsible behavior? Is it appropriate for teens to watch? Do you think it’s likely that its content could influence  viewers who have their own grievances?

  • What is the purpose of making this series -- which clearly is geared toward older viewers -- a cartoon? Would it be less funny in live action? Does animation allow the show’s creators to take liberties that wouldn’t be allowable otherwise? If so, what?

TV details

This review of Dan Vs. was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byevviefoxx January 10, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Just have fun with it

I am twenty-three years old and I have watched 'iffy' cartoons all of my life. Growing up in the 90's it was hard not to. I grew up watching the satirical violence of Tom & Jerry, the cross dressing persona of Bugs Bunny as he lands a wet kiss on Elmer Fudge, the gross toilet humor of Beetlejuice etc. the list goes on and on. Antagonists and protagonists were both pretty much considered jerks in some way or other and being 'influenced' by all of this did not make me filthy, violent cross dresser. It made me have a sense of humor. Dan Vs is a show that the whole family will enjoy. Parents will love the outrageous plot because it isn't painfully childish, and children will laugh because Dan's antics are hilarious. Of course, the show isn't without it's negative qualities, but that's the whole point of the show. To laugh at the crazy man who seeks revenge on ridiculous things. One whole episode featured Dan trying to plot revenge on George Washington. Yes, George Washington. Simply because a tree smashed into his car and naturally, he assumed it was him that chopped it down. The show makes it very obvious that Dan's schemes are silly and farfetched, but watching him go at it is funny. Words like 'jerk', 'idiot', and other tame insults do litter the show but I hardly think it's an issue. The show doesn't promote insults, it merely depicts what an ornery character Dan is and he's often chastised for it. There is some violence in it, but not anything graphic that I've seen growing up. Anyone remember Jerry knocking out Tom's teeth with a frying pan? The nail boards to his rump? Dan Vs is hardly imaginative with it's fight scenes and honestly, the flash animation doesn't make it all that impressive either. There is only one instance of blood that I can remember from Dan Vs The Wolf Man but it wasn't a harsh image. Even Chris (Dan's 'side-kick') remarked that it looked like ketchup. The show does feature some dark humor when it comes to character death. It's mentioned lightly and yes, you can assume that some background characters have died (or were injured badly) but it's never shown. Sexuality is iffy when it comes to this show. Frankly, if you're LOOKING for it, you'll find it. I believe it's all a matter of perspective. If you believe that Dora the Explorer (the little girl version) in a modest two piece bathing suit is too 'sexy', then I think that's something wrong with the viewer and not the cartoon. Dora is not sexy. Ever. When it comes to the instance of clothes being too 'form fitting' in the cartoon, that is merely the art style and it is also easier to move with flash animation. All in all, I recommend this for ages ten and up and for people looking for a laugh that doesn't involve a moral lesson to be learned in every episode. Personally, I think that's what makes it fun.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byforeveryours17 January 19, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
I love this show i am 17 years old and i not really into cartoons not even the adult ones, But i see this show as like a happy medium between kids cartoons and a more adult cartoon its just fun and funny.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBlue-Bunny January 3, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great show! My new fave!

Finally, a show with actual humor. If you're not familiar with it, it's on The Hub. It centers on a man named Dan, who in each episode, is wronged by something and sets out to seek revenge. The premise is fairly simple and pretty unique if I do say so myself. There is plenty of physical and verbal violence between characters. Dan is often seen downgrading his friend Chris and is seen punching and kicking him on several occasions. There is some blood, like in The Wolf-Man, but it's not too graphic and shouldn't be an issue. There isn't much sexual content, so that also shouldn't be an issue. However, Dan dreams about a supermodel in one scene, but nothing too mature occurs and it's pretty much played for laughs. Others include Chris's butt being shown (it's censored, though), a nude picture of Chris (not fully shown), etc. As for CommonSense's review, I beg to differ. Dan Vs. is finally a PG show that the whole family can enjoy, without having to constantly hear characters cuss at each other. Dan Vs. deserves a much better rating than this. Overall, I think it's okay for 8+, great for 10+.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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